Neil Armstrong Dies At 82

Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82. He died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said.

Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs. The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program: “I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”

Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999, and the couple lived in Indian Hill, a Cincinnati suburb. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.

Were you among those who watched in awe as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon? Tell us the reasons why you admire this humble, nerdy and accomplished astronaut!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Celebrity Gossip

‘Cold War’ with Iran Looms Over Middle East

Worries of Israel striking Iran might or might not be overblown but across the region the largely hidden “cold war” between Tehran and its enemies is escalating fast, bringing with it wider risk of conflict. Speculation Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear program has been rife in the Israeli media and oil markets in recent weeks, with concerns that Tehran might retaliate with devastating attacks on Gulf oil shipments.

An increasingly isolated Iran alarms not just Israel and the West but its Gulf neighbors, especially longtime foe Saudi Arabia, and they are already fighting back. From proxy wars in Iraq and Syria to computer worm attacks and unexplained explosions in Iran – to allegations of an assassination plot in Washington – a confrontation once kept behind the scenes is breaking into increasingly open view.

“With Iran, you have a government that is increasingly isolated and acting in increasingly unpredictable ways,” says Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and National Studies in Washington.  “There is certainly the risk that a country will take the deliberate decision to attack Iran. But there is also the risk that something happens that provokes… a war that nobody planned and nobody wants.”

With the euro zone crisis still far from over and worldwide demand already faltering, such action and the resulting oil price surge could be disastrous for the global economy. Many such confrontations across the region appear escalating fast – and becoming much harder for Washington and its allies to control.


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